Listeners to Phil Trow’s show on BBC Radio Manchester will know that outside radio, the Drivetime presenter has two main passions: Blackpool FC and his dogs. He talks to Quays Life about baking dog biscuits, diva doggy strops, and how his miniature dachshund once tried to gatecrash BBC breakfast.
Tell us about your dogs?
We’ve got two dogs – Cotton, he is a Dalmatian, we think he is beautiful however Vivienne our miniature dachshund knows she is beautiful. She is extremely sassy and has won awards for best dog and prettiest dog, we will need another wall soon for her accolades.
How did your dogs come into your life?
My partner Rob had Buster the Labrador when we met, so I became step-dad to Buster and then we added Vivienne to our family. When Buster died we chose Cotton.
How do your dogs get on with each other? Did they get on well from the start?
They get on very well together, Vivienne is the boss and Cotton is the dopiest of dogs and extremely docile he is happy to let Vivienne rule the roost. Actually, we all are happy to let her do so – actually we have no choice. Vivienne, is a diva and was thrown out of doggy training (well politely asked to leave).
Vivienne is angry with the whole world when she is out, she barks at other dogs, children, adults, no one is left out from her disapproval. As soon as she steps back home the barking stops and she silently reigns over her subjects once more.
Cotton gave us a scare though, when he was three months old, he ate my mum’s Ibuprofen tablets, all 16 of them! We rushed him to doggy hospital, where he was a patient for four days and survived unharmed, but at cost to us of £1,200!
Do your dogs ever come to work with you?
Oh dear, yes, once. I took Vivienne to ‘Take you dog to work day’ it was a nightmare, she escaped from my studio and there was an all-out hunt for her as for an awful moment we thought she had taken herself off to the BBC Breakfast (TV) studio which was on live air at the time.
Have you always been a dog lover?
Yes, we had dogs in the family when I was growing up.
What’s the best part of having a dog in your life?
Sheer joy, fun, the anecdotes we can tell … and we are very proud of them.
What’s the most extravagant accessory you’ve bought for your dogs?
Well, we didn’t buy it for her, but Vivienne’s favourite go to toy is our Sky remote. To date, she has demolished 5 of them, and her favourite channel so far is DAVE. The staff at the Sky Centre know us so well that they always have a spare in stock just for us.
My partner, Rob owns ‘B&V Trading’ which stands for Buster and Vivienne and sells dog accessories on Altrincham Market. Rob bakes his own dog biscuits at home to sell on the stall and apart from the stylish street wear of bandannas etc. he sells doggy wine and doggy beer and his best seller in that line is bacon bubbles!
They say dogs reflect their owners. Do you think your dogs are like you in any way?
Yes, apart from Vivien’s penchant for barking at everyone!
Do you think you have become like your dogs in any way?
Yes, both Rob and I have very similar personalities to our pooches although more Cotton than Vivienne!
If you could swap places with your dog for a day, what’s one thing you’d love to do and why?
Being pampered, having everything in the house done for me, fed great food – a dog’s life… although Cotton and Vivienne obviously believe it is their birth right!